E.g., 06/27/2020
E.g., 06/27/2020

State Language Data - CA

California

Language & Education
2018
2000
1990
English Proficiency

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Note: The term "foreign born" refers to people residing in the United States at the time of the population survey who were not U.S. citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization.

Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 10,574,501
Speak only English 11.0%
Speak English "very well" 36.3%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 52.7%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2018 9.8%
% change: 1990-2000 42.0%
English Proficiency of the Foreign Born by U.S. Citizenship Status (age 5 and older)*

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English. Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 5,567,990
Speak only English 13.6%
Speak English "very well" 42.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 44.2%
Noncitizens 5,006,511
Speak only English 8.2%
Speak English "very well" 29.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 62.2%

Note: The term "U.S. born" refers to people residing in the United States who were U.S. citizens in one of three categories: people born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; people born in U.S. Insular Areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam; or people who were born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent.

U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 26,554,051
Speak only English 73.1%
Speak English ""very well"" 23.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3.4%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -24.8%
% change: 1990-2000 44.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 8,762,060
Speak only English 10.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 57.9%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 22,654,569
Speak only English 79.7%
"Speak English ""very well"" 15.0%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 6,337,062
Speak only English 12.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 56.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 21,014,236
Speak only English 85.5%
"Speak English ""very well"" 10.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (by age and English proficiency)

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Number
Ages 5-17 6,557,045
Speak only English 3,704,362
Speak language other than English 2,852,683
Speak English "very well"
2,374,031
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
478,652
Speak Spanish 2,220,045
Speak English "very well"
1,876,470
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
343,575
Ages 18-64 24,904,170
Speak only English 13,247,498
Speak language other than English 11,656,672
Speak English "very well"
6,976,841
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
4,679,831
Speak Spanish 7,558,414
Speak English "very well"
4,411,219
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
3,147,195
65 and Older 5,667,337
Speak only English 3,622,557
Speak language other than English 2,044,780
Speak English "very well"
727,894
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
1,316,886
Speak Spanish 958,027
Speak English "very well"
331,549
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
626,478
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 56.5%
Speak language other than English 43.5%
Speak English "very well" 36.2%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 7.3%
Speak Spanish 33.9%
Speak English "very well" 28.6%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 5.2%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 53.2%
Speak language other than English 46.8%
Speak English "very well" 28.0%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 18.8%
Speak Spanish 30.3%
Speak English "very well" 17.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 12.6%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 63.9%
Speak language other than English 36.1%
Speak English "very well" 12.8%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 23.2%
Speak Spanish 16.9%
Speak English "very well" 5.9%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 11.1%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)

Note: 1) The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English. 2) Data for Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 37,128,552
Speak only English 20,574,417
Speak language other than English 16,554,135
Spanish 10,736,486
Speak English "very well" 6,619,238
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,117,248
French (Including Cajun) 123,226
Speak English "very well" 106,303
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,923
Haitian 7,077
Speak English "very well" 5,907
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,170
Italian 54,426
Speak English "very well" 44,403
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 10,023
Portuguese 88,210
Speak English "very well" 66,362
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 21,848
German 93,784
Speak English "very well" 85,595
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 8,189
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 23,221
Speak English "very well" 20,679
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,542
Russian 157,936
Speak English "very well" 95,228
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 62,708
Polish 20,557
Speak English "very well" 15,300
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,257
Other Slavic Languages 66,653
Speak English "very well" 44,225
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 22,428
Armenian 192,728
Speak English "very well" 103,802
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 88,926
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 207,058
Speak English "very well" 128,002
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 79,056
Gujarati 49,851
Speak English "very well" 36,798
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 13,053
Hindi 199,282
Speak English "very well" 165,445
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 33,837
Urdu 56,391
Speak English "very well" 40,132
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,259
Punjabi 154,097
Speak English "very well" 88,360
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 65,737
Bengali 35,795
Speak English "very well" 24,745
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 11,050
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 60,957
Speak English "very well" 45,083
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 15,874
Other Indo-European Languages 95,640
Speak English "very well" 74,113
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 21,527
Telugu 70,162
Speak English "very well" 58,853
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 11,309
Tamil 59,193
Speak English "very well" 51,912
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,281
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 35,164
Speak English "very well" 30,878
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,286
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 1,270,116
Speak English "very well" 588,898
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 681,218
Japanese 137,945
Speak English "very well" 76,464
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 61,481
Korean 368,448
Speak English "very well" 161,767
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 206,681
Hmong 78,980
Speak English "very well" 49,374
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 29,606
Vietnamese 568,592
Speak English "very well" 234,481
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 334,111
Khmer 61,553
Speak English "very well" 31,438
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 30,115
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 75,881
Speak English "very well" 37,683
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 38,198
Other Languages of Asia 63,638
Speak English "very well" 35,145
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 28,493
Tagalog (including Filipino) 810,455
Speak English "very well" 554,296
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 256,159
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 126,024
Speak English "very well" 84,200
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 41,824
Arabic 189,600
Speak English "very well" 118,979
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 70,621
Hebrew 42,393
Speak English "very well" 36,635
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,758
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 63,151
Speak English "very well" 39,607
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 23,544
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 37,275
Speak English "very well" 29,792
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,483
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 16,989
Speak English "very well" 11,685
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,304
Native Languages of North America 8,091
Speak English "very well" 7,146
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 945
Other and Unspecified Languages 47,110
Speak English "very well" 29,813
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 17,297
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 55.4%
Field 308 44.6%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 61.7%
Field 310 38.3%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 86.3%
Field 315 13.7%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 83.5%
Field 316 16.5%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 81.6%
Field 319 18.4%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 75.2%
Field 322 24.8%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 91.3%
Field 325 8.7%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 89.1%
Field 328 10.9%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 60.3%
Field 331 39.7%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 74.4%
Field 334 25.6%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 66.4%
Field 337 33.6%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 53.9%
Field 340 46.1%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 61.8%
Field 343 38.2%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 73.8%
Field 346 26.2%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 83.0%
Field 349 17.0%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 71.2%
Field 352 28.8%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 57.3%
Field 355 42.7%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 69.1%
Field 358 30.9%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 74.0%
Field 361 26.0%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 77.5%
Field 364 22.5%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 83.9%
Field 367 16.1%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 87.7%
Field 370 12.3%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 87.8%
Field 373 12.2%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 46.4%
Field 376 53.6%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 55.4%
Field 379 44.6%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 43.9%
Field 382 56.1%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 62.5%
Field 385 37.5%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 41.2%
Field 388 58.8%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 51.1%
Field 391 48.9%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 49.7%
Field 394 50.3%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 55.2%
Field 397 44.8%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 68.4%
Field 400 31.6%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 66.8%
Field 403 33.2%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 62.8%
Field 406 37.2%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 86.4%
Field 409 13.6%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 62.7%
Field 412 37.3%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 79.9%
Field 415 20.1%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 68.8%
Field 418 31.2%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 88.3%
Field 421 11.7%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 63.3%
Field 424 36.7%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 9,661,864
Less than high school diploma 32.1%
High school diploma or GED 19.7%
Some college or associate's degree 18.9%
Bachelor's degree 17.7%
Graduate or professional degree 11.7%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 71.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher 30.9%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2018 0.5%
% change: 1990-2000 44.3%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2018 88.8%
% change: 1990-2000 76.6%
Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status (foreign-born adults, age 25 and older)

Note: 1) Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS. 2) The letter N Indicates that a number could not be provided by the Census Bureau because the number of sample cases was too small for this state.

 
Naturalized citizens (%) 5,317,782
Less than high school diploma 23.1%
High school diploma or GED 18.9%
Some college or associate's degree 23.2%
Bachelor's degree 21.7%
Graduate or professional degree 13.1%
Noncitizens (%) 4,344,082
Less than high school diploma 43%
High school diploma or GED 20.7%
Some college or associate's degree 13.6%
Bachelor's degree 12.8%
Graduate or professional degree 9.9%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 17,153,780
Less than high school diploma 7.3%
High school diploma or GED 21.3%
Some college or associate's degree 34.4%
Bachelor's degree 23.3%
Graduate or professional degree 13.6%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -32.4%
% change: 1990-2000 -19.6%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 51.5%
% change: 1990-2000 19.1%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 7,001,114
Less than high school diploma 44.1%
High school diploma or GED 15.9%
Some college or associate's degree 18.6%
Bachelor's degree 13.6%
Graduate or professional degree 7.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 62.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher 26.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 14,310,486
Less than high school diploma 13.0%
High school diploma or GED 22.2%
Some college or associate's degree 35.6%
Bachelor's degree 18.9%
Graduate or professional degree 10.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 4,635,457
Less than high school diploma 46.1%
High school diploma or GED 16.1%
Some college or associate's degree 19.5%
Bachelor's degree 11.7%
Graduate or professional degree 6.7%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 48.1%
Bachelor's degree or higher 19.5%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 14,044,712
Less than high school diploma 16.4%
High school diploma or GED 24.4%
Some college or associate's degree 34.2%
Bachelor's degree 16.4%
Graduate or professional degree 8.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Sources: Migration Policy Institute tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2018 data are from the one-year ACS file. For information about ACS definitions, methodology, sampling error, and nonsampling error, click here. Estimates from 1990 and 2000 Decennial Census data as well as ACS microdata are from Steven Ruggles, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) USA: Version 8.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2018. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V8.0.

Definitions

  • The term "foreign born" refers to people residing in the United States at the time of the population survey who were not U.S. citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization.
  • The term "U.S. born" refers to people residing in the United States who were U.S. citizens in one of three categories: people born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; people born in U.S. Insular Areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam; or people who were born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent.
  • The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English “not at all,” “not well,” or “well” on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English “very well” are considered proficient in English.

Data-related notes

  • The letter N indicates that an estimate could not be provided by the Census Bureau because the number of sample cases was too small for this state.
  • For “English proficiency of the foreign born by U.S. citizenship status” and “Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status”: Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS. 
  • For “Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)”: Data for Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.